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HauntedIllinois.com's
2011 Devil's Haven Haunted House Review


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Devils Haven Haunted House
DuPage County Fairgrounds
2150 Manchester Road
Wheaton, IL 60187

Visited: 10/07/11

Reviewed By: The Webmaster     
Visibility/Location: If you are familiar with the area, this event would be easy to find, since it is located at the DuPage County Fairgrounds. Near the entrance of the fairgrounds, there was a brightly illuminated "Devil's Haven Haunted House" sign. Also, closer to the event buildings, there was rope lighting running along the top of the chain link fence, to help make the event more visible. On the 3D haunted house building, there was a brightly illuminated grim reaper facade. The main haunted house, however, wasn't themed in any way.     
Wait Entertainment: 3D House: None
Haunted House: Scary haunted house scenes were being projected on the wall of the building, in the main queue line area. 
Admission Price: $30
Parking: FREE
Length:

3D House: 3 to 4 Minutes * 
Haunted House: 7 Minutes *
*
= Since people move through haunted attractions at different rates, your time will vary. Note: The time shown here represents the actual time spent moving forward through the attraction. Time spent waiting in queue lines, staging areas, intro scenes, rules rooms and when traffic jams cause patrons to come to a halt, has been subtracted.  

LPR: 0.833
LPR stands for Length/Price Ratio. It represents perceived value of an event, by comparing length vs price of admission. Higher numbers represent more value per dollar. Actual quality and/or entertainment value of an event are not factors in this calculation. Click Here to see how this event compares to others visited this year by the staff of HauntedIllinois.com.
Scare Factor: Low
Crowd Control: On the night that I attended, there really weren't many people in line, so I can't comment on how well they could have handled a large crowd.        

Summary:

3D House:

In this "3D" attraction there were several themes, including a funeral, forest of trees, clowns and splatter patterns.  There was also an area they called "Club Crypt", which featured a lone ghoul dancing underneath several severed heads hanging from the ceiling.    

At various points within the haunt, there were actors positioned behind drop panels.  Unfortunately in almost every case, their timing was late and my entire group had already walked by, before they attempted their scares.  Along with the actors, I saw a few animated pop-out props, as well.

Throughout the house, there were significant issues with the 3D effect, which really put a damper on the experience overall.  I don't know if it was the high level of ambient lighting, not enough black lights or just the artwork itself, but for whatever reason, the 3D illusion just didn't seem to work that well. 

Haunted House: 

According to their website, this haunted house has three levels.  While that may be technically true, keep in mind that it isn't really three full-sized levels, like the stories of a house.  Along the path of the attraction, patrons would briefly go up and down  to the different "levels" via a few short flights of stairs.  There was also a yellow kiddie slide that took you down from one level to another.   


Throughout the attraction there were several scenes of varying themes, separated by dark hallways.  Some of the more prominent scenes included a morgue, a clown room and a cemetery crypt.  The morgue was one of the most detailed areas inside the attraction. It featured a wall of morgue drawers and multiple autopsy tables, with a rotting corpse laying on one and a scantily-clad girl screaming for help, laying on another.   In another area, there was a hallway with hanging clowns you had to push aside to get through. This led to a larger clown room; however, in this room there were only a few props that were spread around sparingly. 

In the middle of the house, there was one long hallway with a low ceiling that forced you to duck down, in order to get through to the next scene. As I moved along, an actress could be heard screaming in the distance. Unfortunately actor safety wasn't fully thought out in this area. The actress was actually laying on the ground and as I shuffled along in the dark, I accidentally tripped over her.    

There seemed to be a sufficient number of actors on the night that I attended. Acting styles varied inside the haunted house, but majority of the scare attempts were attacks from dark corners. There were, however, a few actors who had speaking parts. The most entertaining performances were those from the butcher and the funny girl in the clown maze.  Scare timing was inconsistent, though. With the exception of the butcher and clown scenes, costumes weren't really that elaborate. The actors attempting pop-out or corner scares were dressed in simple hooded cloaks, with either generic masks or basic make-up. Also, not all of the costumes were consistent with the scenes they were in. At the end of the clown hallway, one of the "clowns" was wearing jean shorts and a tie-die shirt.  Along with the actors there were a number of animated props, although they weren't used in conjunction with any actor scares.  There were primarily used as eye-candy.  

Unfortunately, the ending of the attraction was completely anticlimactic.  In the last scene, patrons were sent through a claustrophobia hallway*; their next stop was the parking lot.  How disappointing! 

 



I will have to say that I was very disappointed with this haunted attraction.  While the show had a few redeeming qualities, the bad far outweighed the good.  First of all, they were very poorly organized.  It was their second weekend open, yet they didn't start letting customers into the main haunted house until around 9:30pm or so (which is a full 2.5 hours past their advertised starting time).  There were serious technical problems with the 3D House (to the point that it wasn't even really a 3D house) and there were actor issues in both attractions. 

Last but not least, this was their first year in operation, yet they decided to charge $30 admission.  Seriously?  Most of the top-rated haunted houses in the Chicagoland area don't even come close to charging that much, much less a brand new attraction like this one!  Considering this event's lack of entertainment value, along with the fact that I walked through both attractions in less than 11 minutes, charging such an overinflated admission price is just absurd and completely out of line.  If you charge an arm & a leg, and then don't provide a reasonable level of entertainment value in return, customers will feel ripped off. I know that's the way that I felt, as I walked out the exit.

Sadly, it seems that this newcomer in the haunted house business is just looking to capitalize on the popularity of Halloween and make a quick buck.  It is events like this that give the Haunted Attraction Industry a bad name. Needless to say, this event is definitely not worth the ridiculous admission price.               

To find out more about this event, visit:

http://www.devilshaven.com/

  * = A "claustrophobia hallway" is a pair of inflated fabric panels that patrons have to push their way through.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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